12 Years and 1400 Patient Safety Leaders Later…

Sunlight_over_mtnsTwelve years…that is how long it has been since we first traveled to Telluride, CO to kick-off our inaugural Patient Safety Educational Roundtable and Summer Camp. As we headed west again this weekend to meet with the 36 graduate resident physicians and future health care leaders who were selected from a large group of applicants, it is hard not to think back about all that has happened in those twelve years and the many who have contributed to make it happen.

Twelve years ago, those who came to Telluride believing in our Educate the Young mission consisted of patient safety leaders Tim McDonald, Anne Gunderson, Kelly Smith, Deb Klamen, Julie Johnson, Paul Barash, Gwen Sherwood, Bob Galbraith, Ingrid Philibert, and Shelly Dierking to name just a few. However, the smartest thing we ever did was invite patient advocates to the Patient Safety Educational Roundtable. People like Helen Haskell, Carole Hemmelgarn, Patty and David Skolnik, and Rosemary Gibson were active partners in our work from that first year and made our discussions more productive and our outcomes better.

Over the years, many new faculty joined us in our Educate the Young journey. Some of these additional patient safety faculty included Lucian Leape, Richard Corder, John Nance, Paul Levy, David Classen, Kathy Pischke-Winn, Joan Lowery, Roger Leonard, and Tracy Granzyk. We were also fortunate to have international safety leaders join our faculty, including Kim Oates and Cliff Hughes from Australia, who became regular attendees and popular “mentors” to the future healthcare leaders even though they had to travel almost 10,000 miles to join us each year.

Through all these years, two things remained constant – our commitment to Educating the Young and our partnership with patients. Helen, Carole, Patty, David, and Rosemary continue to be active participants each year but additional patient advocates have joined us including national advocacy leaders Dan Ford and Lisa Freeman.

Through the vision and support of Carolyn Clancy and the AHRQ, what began as a small educational immersion for twenty health science students has now exploded. We continue to grow because of the generous support of The Doctor’s Company Foundation (who provides full scholarships to close to 100 medical and nursing students each year), the Committee of Interns and Residents, COPIC and MedStar Health. This year, over 700 residents, medical students and nursing students will go though one of the Telluride Experience Patient Safety Summer Camps. Out Telluride Scholars Alumni network continues to grow – our future health care leaders staying connected through the years, sharing quality and safety project successes and learning from each other.  And, for the first time, the Telluride Experience went International this past spring as we ran patient safety camps in Doha, Qatar and Sydney, Australia.

Thanks go out to the many passionate and committed faculty and others who have given so much to make our Educate the Young journey so very special. It has been an amazing twelve-year run…

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One Comment on “12 Years and 1400 Patient Safety Leaders Later…”

  1. Shirley Conrad says:

    David, the story on the flip side is that the program serves as a refuge for those attending. Our current system inflicts incredible pain upon families left to carry on without a loved one. Additionally, for each story we know about and all those we do not know about there is a health care provider suffering, often in silence. Not only has the program reached 1400 individuals that have impacted multiple other individuals it has also provided a safe place for 1400 individuals to process what they have seen. True, for every medical error we prevent there is one less patient injured and one less family that has to pick up the pieces. There is also one less nurse of doctor that has to live with the experience of systems and processes that result in harm.

    Shirley
    Telluride – 2014


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